Monday, June 25, 2012


It's been hot, hot, hot in Colorado (today is the third day of +100 degrees) and our air conditioning is on the fritz. We don't belong to a pool, so my solution is to seek air conditioned places, like ummm, bookstores! Got lots of reading done, then, starting with a whole pile of picture books!

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You- Nancy Tillman
I'm kinda maudlin this summer- already missing my eighteen-year-old, who is headed to Phoenix to play football. I don't especially like LOVE YOU FOREVER, but came across a new to me book this week. Think I will be tucking WHEREVER YOU ARE, MY LOVE WILL FIND YOU in my son's  boxes, for him to find. (He will probably think it's corny, but oh well! Sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!)

Back to School
I have mixed emotions about leveling books. I definitely think that emergent readers need lots of texts they can actually read. At the same time, I don't like the "That's not my level" mentality that seems to pervade so many of our classrooms.

  • Wow! School!- Richard Neubecker- Not sure how I missed this one- it's actually been out since 2007 and there are several more in the series (Wow! America!, Wow! Ocean!) Each colorful two page spread has two words, "Wow! ______). Think the little guys will love this one-- I'm definitely going to look for others in the series. 
  • One Two That's My Shoe- Allison Murray- New take on an old favorite rhyme. A puppy steals its owner's shoes. Another one that is sure to be a hit with beginning readers. 
  • Wolf Won't Bite- Emily Gravett- The three little pigs have captured the wolf in a circus wagon and force him to do all kinds of tricks. I read one review that thought this book could be used to discuss animal cruelty-- I guess I didn't go that deep, I just thought kids would love the repeating refrain and predictability of the text.
  • Five Little Monkeys Read in Bed- Eileen Christelow- Most people who know children's books know the FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS series. In this one, Mama puts the monkeys to bed, but then has to keep going back to settle "book uproars." Love the repeating refrain and the surprise ending. I think this could promote some great beginning of the year discussions about reading mentors and reading habits, even with intermediate grade kids. 
  • Miss Smith Under the Ocean-Michael Garland- I became acquainted with this series a couple of years ago. It's kind of Miss Frizzle meets read aloud. In this one the class is going on a field trip to the aquarium and all sorts of ocean-related books come into play. Think it would be great to talk about how readers use background knowledge to comprehend, or maybe how important it is to read widely so that you understand authors' allusions.

Dog Books

Silly Doggy- Adam Stower- A fun new take on the "I Want a Dog" theme. Pair this with ME WANT PET!, CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS, and THE PIGEON WANTS A PUPPY.

Zorro Gets an Outfit- Carter Goodrich- My sons would argue that I take dog loving to an extreme. My dogs ride in the car. They sit on the couch. They sleep with me every night. At the same time, they do NOT wear clothes! I loved this book about a dog whose owner forces him to wear a Zorro costume!

Good Night Books
When my nephew was little, he had a couple of favorite bedtime stories that we read ad infinitum. I was always on the lookout for replacement stories.  Here are a couple of fun "good night" stories.

Dini Dinosaur- Karen Beaumont- Preschoolers and beginning readers are going to love the predictability of this book about a very dirty dinosaur who gets in the tub with all of his clothes on. 

Tuck Me In-Dean Hachohen- Really sweet predictable book. Every other page asks the question, "Who needs to be tucked in?" The next page is a half page blanket with a different animal all ready to go to bed. I could see using this as a read aloud with toddlers and preschoolers. I also think beginning readers would love the predictability and question/answer format. 

Chapter Books
I also read a few chapter books this week. Totally loved Kate DiCamillo and Allison McGhee's Bink and Gollie: Two for One; in this book the two good friends head to the State Fair. Funny, lots of interesting vocabulary, and some really big truths about friendships.

Also have read a couple of intermediate grade chapter books-- ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Linda Mullaly Hunt, which I reviewed last week, THE WHOLE STORY OF HALF A GIRL by Veera Hiranandani, a coming of age story about a girl who is half Jewish and half Indian. Thought this would be a great one to hand to a reader who had enjoyed ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET. Finished the week with THREE TIMES LUCKY, which I had heard about from Bill at Literate Lives.

This week I want to finish Lone Wolf by Jodi Piccoult. Also need to get busy and do some more professional reading. And work on my Spanish. And clean the garage!


Maria said...

I need to get to One for the Murphys. It's popping up everywhere. Also, right before my son was born, a friend gave me Wherever You Are. I love it. Such a beautiful story, and the illustrations to match. I also like On the Night You Were Born and The Spirit of Christmas by that same author. Again, stunning illustrations.


wakeupandwrite said...

Oh good - an idea,and along with the sketch idea from "A Year of Reading" I think I've got a start on tomorrow's slice.

Jill Fisch said...

Thanks for this post Carol. I have been looking for some new (to me) books to use at the beginning of the year in first grade. I have put many of these on hold at my library so I can check them out. I can't wait for them to come in. Thanks.

Mary Lee said...

I'm imagining you on the floor at TC with your computer and your pile of books, blogging away!